5 Best Handheld Back Massagers (That Really Work)

Best Handheld Back MassagerMassage therapy is one of the best ways to combat chronic pain. Back pain sufferers often notice increased comfort and mobility after receiving a massage. Unfortunately, professional massages tend to be pricey and time-consuming.

Handheld back massagers are an excellent alternative to professional massage therapy. Simple manual massagers are great for relaxing sore muscles and releasing painful knots in the back. Electric devices generally offer various massage heads and speeds, replicating the techniques used by trained masseurs.

Whether you’re looking for a simple budget massager or an alternative to expensive weekly massages, we’ve found the best device for you. To experience powerful pain relief, choose one of our recommended handheld back massagers.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Handheld Back Massager

Before purchasing a handheld back massager, you’ll want to consider the features that you need from a device. If you have limited arm mobility, for instance, you may struggle to use a manual massager on your own back. Those who prefer gentle massages won’t want to use devices that are constantly praised for their deep tissue massage functionalities.

Be sure to take the following factors into consideration when deciding on which massager to purchase.

Manual or Electric Massager

Electric Massager

Electric Massager

Whether you’d prefer a manual or electric massager is largely a matter of mobility and personal preference. Though most manual massagers are designed with ergonomics in mind, those with arm weakness or shoulder problems may find it difficult to massage their own backs with these tools.

Manual Massager

Manual Massager

Though a certain amount of flexibility and strength is required to use electric back massagers, these devices tend to do more of the work themselves. Adjustable speed controls and interchangeable massage heads allow users to experience various massage styles at the press of a button. In contrast, manual massagers tend to offer only one type of massage head. Manual pressure controls the speed and intensity of these tools.

If back pain issues severely limit your mobility, you may find that neither massager type meets your needs. In this case, a massage chair or wrap-around shoulder massager may suit you better.

Strength of Massager

No one wants to experience an uncomfortably painful massage. It is therefore important to find a machine that will relax your back without hurting you. When choosing a massager, consider your past experiences with massage devices and masseurs. Do you ask for more pressure or wind up wincing from the pain? Read through a number of customer reviews to get an idea of how powerful the massager may be. Purchase a machine that suits your pain tolerance levels.

Massage Heads/Tips

Most manual massagers only offer rounded knobs for massaging tight muscles and releasing trigger point tension. Electric massagers, on the other hand, may offer a variety of different massage heads or tips. Some heads may involve a number of small rounded balls. Others may feature spikes or a single rounded head. If you have experience with massage devices, buy a massager with heads that you know will be comfortable for you. If you’ve never used a massage machine before, consider testing a device at a local store to get an idea of the types of massage heads that provide you with the most relief.

Speed and Versatility

Most electric massagers offer various massage speeds and functions. If speed is important to you, select a device that allows you to make your massage as fast or as slow as you like.

A number of electric massagers can be used on areas other than the back. These massagers often come with different strength levels and massage heads targeted at relieving pain in other parts of the body. If you’d like to target tight quadricep muscles, for instance, a percussion massager may meet your needs. If instead you’re looking for a device that can be used on the face and neck, seek out a massager designed to target the whole body.

Corded or Cordless

Manual massagers are naturally cordless. Small manual massagers are especially portable and are ideal for traveling. Large manual massagers and heavy electric massagers are often designed with home use in mind.

Some electric back massagers are cordless. These devices must be recharged on a regular basis. Other devices require an electrical outlet. If you choose a corded device, be sure to check the length of the cord. If the cord is too short, it may be difficult to use the device in certain parts of your home.

Ultimately, the choice between a corded and cordless device is a matter of preference. For convenience and mobility, choose a cord-free massager. For simple at-home use, however, a corded massager is generally the more affordable option.

Price

Handheld back massagers are available at a variety of price points. As one would expect, manual massagers tend to be fairly affordable. These tools rarely cost more than $50. Electric massagers, on the other hand, tend to be slightly more expensive. Though a few budget options are available for $50 or less, higher-end massagers frequently cost over $100. Seek out a well-rated massager that falls within your budget.

Ratings and Reviews

Every rating and review says something important about a product. Skim through customer reviews to see if like-minded customers recommend the massager they’ve purchased. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each product. By selecting a top-rated massager, you’ll be more likely to receive a durable, high-quality product.

Top 5 Best Handheld Back Massagers

Though there are many excellent handheld back massagers on the market, we particularly recommend these five excellent devices. Whether you’re searching for an affordable manual massager or a premium electric machine, we’ve got a recommendation for you.

1.) Pure-Wave CM7 Cordless Massager Body & Facial

Pure-Wave CM7 Cordless MassagerPure-Wave CM7 Cordless Massager

The Pure-Wave CM7 is a premium electric massager that is well worth its price. Unlike many electric massagers, the Pure-Wave device is cord-free and fairly lightweight. With multiple interchangeable massage heads, the Pure-Wave CM7 is able to simulate shiatsu, acupressure, deep tissue, and Swedish-style massages. An extremely powerful motor makes the Pure-Wave capable of offering massages that are deeper and more penetrating than those offered by most other devices.

Customers with back problems rave about the Pure-Wave CM7. In addition to relieving knots and muscle tension, the massager also helped customers combat the pain associated with fibromyalgia, herniated discs, sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, and more.

Additional massage heads make the Pure-Wave device even more practical. A body massage oil disk can be used to gently rub lotions into skin. A facial massage disk and a scalp massager are also provided. The device can also be used on the feet, legs, shoulder, and neck. This multi-functionality makes the massager a great device for the entire family.

If a powerful and highly versatile electric massager is what you seek, choose the Pure-Wave CM7 Cordless Massager.

Pros:

  • The Pure-Wave CM7 is cordless and relatively lightweight, making it one of the most practical electrical massagers available.
  • In addition to massage heads for the body, the machine comes with massage tips for the face and scalp.

Cons:

  • Though the massager is lighter than many electric massagers, those without much arm strength may find the device difficult to use for prolonged periods of time.
  • A number of customers had issues with the device’s charging capabilities. Issues with the device battery or charger occasionally arose after a few months.

2.) Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Self-Massage Tool

Body Back Buddy Trigger Point Self-Massage ToolBody Back Buddy Trigger Point Self-Massage Tool

When it comes to manual massagers, the Body Back Company has created the perfect tool. The 11 therapy knobs on the Body Back Buddy Massage Tool are perfectly placed to release pressure point knots in the back and throughout the body. The massager weighs just 1.25 pounds and is significantly more durable than most manual back massagers. Assembled in the United States, the massager is made from safe, health-friendly plastics.

Though the massager is specifically designed to target sore and knotted muscles, customers have found relief from a number of back pain issues. Addressing certain pressure points, for instance, relieved a number of customers’ sciatic pain, disc issues, and more. The tool can even reduce the pain that remains after spinal fusions.

To release the tension in your neck, back, and shoulders, choose the Body Back Buddy Self-Massage Tool.

Pros:

  • Offered at a very reasonable price, the Body Back Buddy is a massage tool that almost anyone can afford.
  • The Body Back Company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their products. Full refunds on the product are available within 30 days.

Cons:

  • Customers who are older, weaker, heavier, or particularly tall may struggle with the Body Back Buddy.
  • Learning how to use the tool may take some time. A few customers felt that the instruction manual did not fully elucidate the massage process.

3.) Thumper Sport Percussive Massager

Thumper Sport Percussive MassagerThumper Sport Percussive Massager

If a percussive massage is what you seek, look no further than the Thumper Sport Massager. This two-headed electric massager uses rhythmic beating and pulsating motions to reduce muscle tension throughout the body.

Perhaps the best aspect of the Thumper Sport is its five speed settings. At lower speeds, the massager offers a gentle, palpitating massage. Medium speeds apply additional pressure to the muscles. Customers with serious back pain, however, will most love the machine’s highest setting, which offers a fairly rapid and powerful percussive massage. Customers with conditions ranging from degenerative disc disease to lupus-related back pain noticed dramatic improvements in their pain levels after using the Thumper Sport.

To pound the pain out of your lower back, purchase the Thumper Sport Percussive Massager.

Pros:

  • The Thumper Sport is lightweight and comes equipped with five speeds, allowing most customers to comfortably massage themselves.
  • The device’s power cord is a generous 12 feet long, making it possible to use the massager in most rooms.

Cons:

  • This massager isn’t nearly as powerful as the Thumper Mini Pro. Those who are looking for a particularly powerful deep tissue massage should opt for the Mini Pro instead.
  • The Thumper Sport is fairly expensive and may exceed some customers’ budgets.

4.) Pressure Positive Company’s Original Palmassager

The Original Palmassager by the Pressure Positive CompanyThe Original Palmassager by the Pressure Positive Company

The Palmassager is a simple handheld back massager. This small, intuitively-designed tool is portable and extremely easy to use. Three hard plastic knobs are used to manually rub out sore muscles and knots in the back.

The knobbed design of the Palmassager makes it an ideal tool for addressing tension in the upper back and cervical spine. Those who have sitting-related stiffness and back pain are likely to find relief by using the Palmassager. The tool can be used on one’s own back or may be used by others as a massage aid.

The Palmassager‘s compact size, bargain price, and practical design all come together to make this massage tool a great budget option.

Pros:

  • The Palmassager is extremely affordable; it costs just a fraction of the price of most electric massagers.
  • The design of the Palmassager makes it the perfect tool for addressing pressure points and sore muscles along the spine and around the shoulder blades.

Cons:

  • The shape of the massager sometimes makes it challenging to grip it in the hand.
  • Some users complained that the current product design is cheaper and less effective than prior models.

5.) Wahl 4290-300 Deep Tissue Percussion Massager

WAHL 4290-300 Deep Tissue Percusion MassagerWAHL 4290-300 Deep Tissue Percusion Massager

The Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager is a powerful, pain-fighting electric massager. Customers rave that the Wahl device truly emulates a professional massage experience, forcefully beating the muscles around the shoulders and spine.

Four attachments are included with this corded massager. A four-pronged head gives a penetrating, hand-like massage. A rounded knob offers a percussive deep tissue massage. A pointed head can be used to break up knots in the back, and a flat disk can be used to distribute pressure across the skin. Adjustable speeds allow users to truly customize the intensity of their massage experiences. Back pain sufferers with a wide variety of conditions experienced relief using the massager.

To enjoy a powerful, customizable massage, choose the Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Massager.

Pros:

  • For a percussive massager, Wahl‘s device is extremely affordable. Few electric massagers are available at a better price.
  • With four massage heads and variable intensities, customers can easily tailor the massage experience to their needs.

Cons:

  • The Wahl Massager isn’t particularly durable. Many customers’ machines broke within six months of use.
  • The company’s customer service and refund policy aren’t particularly good. Some customers only received a partial refund or none at all.

In Conclusion:

Instead of investing in expensive weekly massages, purchase a handheld back massager. Using a massager a few times a week will likely make your back pain far more manageable.

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